Grandkids, Sewing, and Family!

What a way to spend the holiday season ... taking care of grandkids. A week before Christmas our youngest daughter, Lindsey, asked us if we would take care of their three kids while they attended a wedding, wedding breakfast, dinner, reception, and a temple sealing the next day. Of course we said yes. I was really nervous about tending the 'wee one'. She doesn't like me and pushes my face away when I try to kiss her. But after her parents dropped her off, she was my new best friend. So cute ... and would cry when I would walk out of the room. She was a darling, as were the other two. Laurel dropped by to visit with Addy and we talked Addy into spending the night too, so we had four kids to watch. It was Ellie's birthday so we took them all to McDonalds for dinner. We haven't been to McDonalds for years and as we drove up to the establishment I noticed there was a Playland inside. "Oh horrors", I thought, "I'll bet their mothers never let them play in those germ infested areas." But I'm the granny and I get to take liberties so I indulged them and let them climb and slide down the slides to their hearts content. They loved it! As we were pulling away from the curb heading home the phone rang and it was Laurel, Addy's mom, asking her how she was doing. This was the conversation we heard on Addy's end. "Yep, Mom, we're having a great time. We're playing at McDonald's and they have a giant slide we got to play on. And guess what? They don't have any balls with poo on them!" We laughed and laughed. Of course she proceeded to keep saying that phrase over and over because she was getting laughs out of all of us! She had overheard me earlier saying to Lynn that I was glad the place didn't have those balls that the kids land into, with poo on them!

Normally the kids go to bed quite early, but I had instructions to bathe the kids and then put Ellie's long hair into these springy roller things that I had to figure out how to do. Talk about difficult! You have to use a big ole crochet looking hook and pull the hair through this springy contraption that when dried produces the most beautiful ringlets you've ever seen. Well it took me over an hour to put her hair up. She didn't mind at all because I put on a new fairy movie and she was oblivious to what I was doing with her hair.

Got them to bed around 10:00 p.m. and Ben was up in my room at 4:00 a.m. telling me that he couldn't find Ellie. I guess he was scared. By the time I got back downstairs, the three older kids were up and ready for the day so I put on a movie and let them stay up and I went in the sewing room to work on aprons for my girls!

Yes, that was my big surprise for the girls ... aprons for all the daughters in honor of my mother who was the best cook in the entire world. She loved polka dots so each apron had polka dots on them in honor of her. I tried to pick out colors and fabric that represented each girl. Each evening was spent hunched over the sewing machine sewing like a maniac. I cut out most of the aprons at work on my lunch time and would sew each evening and some times early morning before work. I took off Thursday and started sewing at 5:00 a.m. and finished my last apron around 10:30 that morning. Now my back has been giving me fits. I even had to go to the chiro to get an adjustment. It's still bothering me.

We had a wonderful Christmas eve dinner and party at my home ... Hansen tradition. All were here except my oldest son Ryan and his family. We missed them, but they were spending the evening with her family. These four little kids went to sit down at their table and were asking where their paper plates were. One of the kids answered, "You're not eating on paper plates. You're eating on REAL plates!" They were astonished to think that they got to eat on REAL plates. And guess what? When I went to clear their table there wasn't one spot of food on the table cloth! Talk about great table manners for those wee ones!

D.J. is showing off Ginger's incredible twice baked potato casserole ... in his mouth. They really were incredible, loaded with lots of butter and bacon. I think that was the favorite part of the meal ... next to my famous homemade rolls and buttah!

My youngest baby girl, sweet Linz.

These wee ones had paper plates and cups, but didn't seem to mind.

Look at my Lee Lee (Liam). He was having a melt-down but obviously knows what to do when someone wants to snap his pictures. He paused long enough to smile for the picture, then went back to crying!Here's 5 of the 7 daughters who received the aprons. From L to R --- Laura, Reese's wife who is expecting their first baby in May ... Angie, Laurel, Ginger, and Lindsey. Nat got an apron but lives in Oregon and Camie got one too, but wasn't at the party.

Got up bright and early on Christmas day ... well actually this was the first year that Lynn and I have been alone on Christmas day with no kids at home. Dieter woke us up at 4:45 a.m. so we got up, got dressed and started a tradition, this year, to go to some of the kid's homes and watch them open their Christmas gifts. Got to Angie and Boyd's at 7:00, rang the door bell and woke them up! I told Lynn that it was so much fun watching them with their Christmas that I didn't even care if I got one single present. He didn't echo my sentiments! Dieter loved Bryant as you can tell from the picture. Rudolph kissed Bryant and the boys while they were sleeping!

Well -- I hope that each of you are prepared to have a wonderful New Year. It's going to be a great year. I have such fun things planned for this year and can't wait to share them with you. As soon as our IT guy posts the info I need to the World Joy dinner/stamping in July I'll start selling tickets for the event. There's a few of you who have already planned on going with me to Africa to do some service projects. There's a lot of work that we can do. We'll be there for about a week. I'm thinking that we'll probably go some time in April. Let me know if you would like to go too ... just have to pay your airfare and food. World Joy will cover your lodging in Abomosu.

I'm Taking the Plunge!

O.K. ... I've had an over-whelming response regarding the World Joy fund-raiser dinner and I'm going to do it! I've reserved the Joseph Smith Memorial Building, same place as last year for July 15, 2011. I may be able to take as many as 250 people.

I had an amazing conversation with a dear demonstrator who wants to donate all of the stamping supplies for our stamping projects. I was almost in tears, I was so amazed at the generosity and kindness. Bet you would have laughed if you could have seen me waltzing around my office shouting for joy. I'm still in shock! As soon as I receive permission to use her name in my blog, I'll give a big tribute to her. She's incredible!

Not only will we have a wonderful dinner, like we did last time, but I'm working on some incredible entertainment. No, it's not Jaron ... even though I'm sure he'll sing a few numbers for us, if asked. And no, it's not me. He's a recording artist and I'm almost certain he'll entertain us for 'free' when he hears our purpose.

I've also had a few of you 'opt' into the trip. I'm in communication with our people in Ghana to arrange some service projects while there. I'm hoping to take a group of you over the first quarter in the new year.

I'll let you know how to reserve your seat for the dinner as soon as my web contact links the credit card information to our World Joy site. And remember, your donation (not the dinner portion) is tax deductible since it is going to a non-profit organization. We'll have door prizes, stamping, and entertainment, and fabulous food.

We had a nightmare trip to Oregon for Thanksgiving! Normally we can drive it in 12 hours. It took us 17 hours and my daughter-in law and I had to ride in the back seat of the pickup truck with NO leg room. And I had a dog laying across my lap almost the entire trip. The roads were horrible ... even some road closures in Idaho. At one point we were stopped in the middle of no-where with several truckers and family vehicles. The kid in front of us was in shorts and got his unicycle out of the car and was riding up and down the highway. It was frigid cold and windy. There were people out of their cars visiting with one another and dogs running free. After almost an hour they opened the road and we were on our way. Coming home was just as bad...another 17 hours. We finally stopped in Ontario, Oregon and spent the night. Boy were we ever tired! I don't think we'll take a road trip again in the winter months. Next time, we'll fly!

I miss my little Oregonians. Wish they lived closer! BOOOOOO! Are you all getting ready for the big day? I still have a lot of sewing to do, but no worries ... I'm having a ball with all of the church and work parties.
It was raining and a wee bit cold when Lynn and I took 5 of the grandkids to Hogle Zoo for the Zoo lights. His company paid for all the tickets, plus dinner and gift for the kids. What a company and very family oriented! Don't laugh at my hair ... remember it was raining!When you put on the Zoo Lights glasses, all of the lights turn into snowflakes. It's amazing! Look at little Ellie with the glasses on top of her glasses. Yummo --- hamburgers!Addison ...


Benny -- with catsup on his face!

HMMMM ... I'm Thinking of a BIG Event!

My mind has been racing a mile a minute and I've been up since 3:00 a.m. this morning, thinking about something really BIG I want to do and sewing on a Christmas present. Can't tell you what the sewing project is because she reads my blog, but it's sooo stinkin' cute! O.K. ... the pattern says that it's a See and Sew and the tagline says that it's VERY easy to make. Oh Contreras! Now, I pride myself on my sewing abilities and I've made 6 wedding dresses, but this simple See and Sew ain't that simple. I sewed for a few hours on it last night and then again this morning for another 3 hours and it's still not done. At one point, last night, I thought I was losing it. Honestly, I couldn't figure out what the heck the pattern was describing and the pictures didn't help either. So BOOOO on the See and Sew patterns. Thankfully it's working out and looks even more darling than the picture on the envelope of the pattern.

Let me quickly post a couple of my freshly painted bathroom pictures. Don't you just love that pop of orange? It's stunning. And yes, these are the same colors I had for my wedding. In fact it's going to be our 38th wedding anniversary on Sunday. Love you Lynnie!

My Daddy will be 93 on the first of December. He spent a week with us a while back. He's such a sweetheart and I sure miss not having him next door. My sis sure takes great care of him in Montana and he really loves it there. He's always been a country boy.

So besides painting and doing some home improvements, I got rail-roaded into being in a Young Women in Excellence production at the church Tuesday evening. The program depicted eight women from the scriptures who had great faith. I depicted the wife of King Lamoni. Each of had a part to say/act. I was really into my part, the Thespian that I am, and it was very spiritual in the room and I noticed a 12 year old girl elbow her mother and her mother looked at me just as I felt my robe beginning to slip under my breast bone. Now mind you, I was fully clothed under the robes, but did what an actress should NEVER do. I broke character and hitched the robe up around my neck. Of course there were giggles from the audience and I lost my train of thought for a few minutes and the spirit sort of left the room. Shame, shame on me! But all in all it was a beautiful program. Queen Lamoni was a Lamanite, but I look more like an African because I'm wearing the official king robe that Gary brought back from his trip a few weeks ago. But see if you can figure out which one is Mary Magdalene, Queen Lamoni, Sariah, Ester, Eliza Snow, Eve, Ruth, and Mary Fielding Smith.

Now on to the BIG idea. I've been thinking for the past couple of weeks how I can help the people in Ghana, Africa. If you've been watching the Amazing Race, they were in Ghana a few weeks ago. It's a very poor country and the non-profit organization that I work for, World Joy has made great strides in the country, specifically in the Atiwa District in 13 villages. Gary, my boss just went over to assess the schools and waterwells that we have built and to see if they are being well taken care of, and to also see what more needs to be done. He described to me, with tears in his eyes, that he thought we had done a lot of good over there, but there is SOOO MUCH MORE that needs to be done. The government just can't do it, or won't. There is a little, forgotten village on the other side of the River Birim and there are no roads leading to it. It is about 8 miles from Abomosu and has about 800 people with 182 being children. Everyone in this village is a peasant farner who uses rudimentary tools such as hoes, machetes, and axes. A couple of years ago, World Joy built a school in this village. All materials were hand-carried to the site.

This is Gary and the Abus on their trek to the village. It was an extremely hot, and humid day and there were heavy rains which caused a slow pace to the village.

Gary described the view amazing, almost ethereal as they came through the trees and witnessed a green grassy knoll with beautiful clouds in the sky and children dressed in white playing and running and squealing as they came to greet the party.

This is our World Joy school. It is being well taken care of. The major problem that they still have is no fresh drinking water. Their water supply is whatever they can find from the rains. The water is polluted and there is a lot of sickness and disease and death from the water. So, what's my BIG IDEA????

I want to champion a project for a water well in the Village of Abrenya. I can do this for only $10,000. I need your support and this is how WE can make it happen. Many of you have asked if I am having another Evening to Remember in July during Convention. Here's my thought. If I have a dinner at the same location as last year for 200 people, and charge $100 each, WE can get the water well for Abrenya. $40 of your registration fee will go towards your dinner, servers, and gratuity, $10 will go towards door prizes and raffle/auction items, and $50 will go entirely to the water project. And, it can be tax deductible. What about stamping? We can, if we do a shoebox swap per table. I know that's asking a lot from you, after spending all your hard earned money on convention and then another $100 for this event, and asking you to provide a shoe box for 9 people at your table. But if you think this is something that WE can do, I'll do it!

Here's the precious children saying goodbye. A few of the children followed the party all the way to the river before saying goodbye. There are 4 teachers that live on-site at the school. Three of the teachers aren't even receiving wages from the government, but they have a place to live and the villagers provide them food. Sad, isn't it? We need to provide an additional room onto the school so the one female teacher doesn't have to live with the male teachers. (Maybe she likes it???)

So, do you think I'm crazy, or do you think we can champion the project? Please spread the word and send my link so people can read about the project and get involved. Last year my event filled up in less than two days. If I get enough readers who comment on my blog and say they would like to help, I'll start with the arrangements for the event.

Now for the fun part! When our project is funded and ready for dedication, I want to go over and video tape the project and show it at our event. I also would like to take 6 of you with me. You'd have to pay your own airfare over, but I would provide transportation and accommodations while in the village of Abomosu. We'd fly into the city of Accra. We'd meet at JFK airport in NYC and have a direct flight to Accra. I promise, this will be a life changing opportunity for you. Even if you can't go to witness the event, just by coming to the dinner and helping fund the project will help you Feel and Be the Joy!

Meda Wo Ase (Thank You) for being my wonderful friends. I love and miss you ALL! -- Linda


Oh Boooo .... winter is coming. I don't enjoy the cold weather. I need to move to Florida where it's nice and warm. It's supposed to snow today and I've been 'bummed' out about that. I've soooo enjoyed this summer. I think part of the reason I've loved this summer is because the heat never bothered me. I enjoyed being out in the sun, loved yard work, and even enjoyed just sitting and soaking up some rays. In the past, with all of my extra padding, the heat was unbearable for me. And now I'm going to have to deal with wearing long johns, padded coats, boots, gloves, and a hat. And if you've ever seen me in a hat, it's not a pretty sight! Oh well ... that's what I get for living in Utah, right?

Here's some terrific news! My hubby has been on contract work with his new job and was anxiously waiting to be hired with benefits. He was given a job offer last Friday with a large increase in pay, three annual bonuses, and all health benefits paid for by the company. And that includes the family too! What a terrific company! I'm soooo impressed. The paid health benefits is like getting a raise.

We've lived in our home for over 10 years and my master bath was in desperate need of paint. We have 12' ceilings in the bathroom and I spent the weekend painting it. It was a lot of work but turned out beautiful. I'll take some pictures and post. The color is soft suede ... seriously, that's the name on the paint can, but when it's on the walls it has a greenish cast to it. I'm using accent rugs and etc. in burnt oranges and golds. It's lovely! I have two ledges in the bathroom that I had to climb on. I'm a little nervous of heights, but I did it. You would have been so proud of me. All I have to do is paint the base boards and I'll be done. It's a great feeling to have that off my check list of things to do.

Well, my lunch is up so I must get back to work. Have a lovely week!



All is well here in Zion!

Just haven't blogged or gotten on Face Book for quite a few weeks. After working all day and being on a computer, most of the day, it's one of the last things I want to do when I get home from work. Not that I don't love and miss you all ... because I do ... but I found a way to blog from work! My boss insists that I get away from my desk to take my lunch because if I don't, I never get to eat my lunch because of phones and this and that happening. So now, instead of a working lunch at my desk, I physically remove myself from my desk and go into another office, sit at an empty desk, eat my lunch at the computer and blog and catch up on personal e-mails. It's great!

Lots of neat things have been happening in our lives. Of course you all know that Lynn got a great job. We're just waiting for his benefits to kick in. Just pray that he remains healthy cuz he doesn't have any health insurance. BOOOOO! But hopefully he will in November. He loves the company he works for. His company was one of the drilling outfits who drilled one of the three holes to rescue the miners in Chile. Their drill hole was considered to be the safest of the three. That was one of the most amazing events to watch 'live'. I remember watching the first man to land on the moon, but in all honesty, this was even greater. What a joyful reunion with family and friends. It was a miracle that they all survived!

Wanna know what I learned after 61 years? I learned how to lock and unlock a door with a key! Seriously, all these years I've struggled which way to turn the key in the lock to lock or unlock the door. I was with my daughter Linz the other day trying to unlock the house door and I commented to her, " I never know which way to turn the key to open the door." She said, "Mom ... think about it. Look where the door frame is. Now imagine where the post is going when you lock the door. Just turn the key towards the door frame to lock it and turn it away from the door frame to unlock it. DUH ...! Can you imagine that I've NEVER figured that out. I knew to turn the lock to the Left on my Mom's home because in my mind I had remembered "Left" for "Lock". But that didn't always work on other doors. DUH!!!! Now every time I unlock a door with a key, I feel so proud of myself, and thankful to my youngest daughter for teaching her mother how to use a key.

Let me tell you about a neat experience I had this last Saturday. I had been asked to sing at a Regional Conference that evening. Linz and I were going to sing a duet, one which we had sung years ago, but hadn't practiced for years. I just didn't feel comfortable with the song. It just didn't seem like the right song to sing for the meeting. The theme was "Growth Through Service". Saturday morning I was doing a workshop and the hostesses' husband is a wonderful musician friend. I asked him if he had a piece of music that would work for the theme in a duet arrangement. He smiled and said that he had the perfect piece and he was dying to have someone perform it. While playing it for me, goosebumps came out on my arms and I got tears in my eyes. Listening to the words and hearing the music confirmed that this was the song we were supposed to do. He printed me out copies of the arrangement plus a CD with accompaniment and voice on it so I could practice in my car on the way home. I was really nervous because Lindsey didn't get to my home until after 4:30 p.m. and we were to sing at 7:00 p.m. Our accompanist hadn't even seen the music either. We met around 5:00 p.m. and went through it a few times. When we got up to sing, I looked at the music and thought to myself, "Sheesh, I don't even remember how this goes!" Well, Linz was thinking the same thing. We sounded wonderful together but had a few timing problems and sang a few wrong words. But all in all, did a really great job. The audience was spell-bound and the song set the spirit for the meeting. The meeting was terrific and the speakers were wonderful. One of my good friends, who had lost her husband to cancer in January, spoke on the blessings of charity in her life. She did an amazing job. Such a great spirit and such a wonderful speaker. She shared with us how hard it was to accept help, and then gave examples of small acts of service that neighbors and friends did to help brighten their lives. After the meeting, our Bishop came up to us and told us how wonderful our song was and then told us that we needed to sing that same song on December 19th in our Ward. He said that it will be perfect for the Christmas season. We were so happy to be asked because now we'll learn and perfect the song and do an even better job! Oh ... the song is called "Make Us One" by Sally DeFord. You can access it on the internet and print it off for free. It's marvelous!

It looks like it's time for me to get back to work. Lunch break is over. I'm doing well ... keeping the weight off ... exercising occasionally ... loving my job ... and loving life.

Cheers --- Linda


Great News! My hubby has a job.

While visiting in Oregon the discussion of a hobo came up with the grandkids. Katie informed her grandpa (Lynn) that he was THE hobo because he had no job and no money! She's the same one that wrote me the cutest little love note shortly after my layoff. I have it posted on my fridge in her cute hand-writing. It has a drawn picture of a heart on it and it says, "By - Kate I am saree that yue gat fiyrd." Translation ... "I am sorry that you got fired." Isn't that the cutest little note? Geez I miss those girls. They live in Oregon and Katie is getting baptized on the 18th. My Dad will be coming to stay with us during that week so I don't think there's a possibility of us making it to her big day. BOOOOO!

So, what's been going on in the Hansen home. Life really is busy, isn't it? Just taking care of the sick and the elderly in our ward and enjoying family and friends.

I'll have to share an experience that happened last week. I was sitting in the temple contemplating life's challenges and wondering what we were going to have to sell in order to make the mortgage. I hadn't really been worrying about Lynn's employment because I had felt peace and at ease that the Lord would provide. But, I was preparing for the day when we may have to come up with a solution to make our obligations. My mother's voice came into my head saying, "Don't worry, Linda. (She always said that to me.) Lynn will find a job soon. Don't worry!" My heart was at peace once again. The very next day Lynn got a call to come in for an interview. The day after, he was offered the position. And the next day he started his employment. This is a great company just north of Toronto, Canada. They have an office in Sandy, Utah with several Canadian employees. There are also a few people there that he has worked with with other engineering firms. He feels right at home and the people are great. The company has great benefits, paying for all of our health insurance, and the pay is great as well. I'm so happy and so blessed and so thankful to the Lord for helping us through these bumps in life.

What else have I been doing? You wouldn't believe what I've been on these last three days! I got roped into trying the Master Cleanse diet. Why? I really don't know, other than our nurse and office manager at work were so excited about it, they sucked me into doing it. "Oh, it will be sooo much fun if we all do it together", they said. Our nurse purchased all of the stuff. Let me explain what I'm been chug a luggin' these last few days.

Day 1: pureed fruits and veggies with all sorts of sprouts and things in it. It was brown and it looked like sludge. Can I just say that I don't care for the taste of bean sprouts. They taste like dirt. Why would anyone want to eat dirt? And next ... why can't the sludge have a little bit of sweetness to it? So, I added some Crystal Lite to it and it tasted pretty good. Got through Day 1 pretty good. Not too hungry until I saw the Corn Nuts in my night stand. Oh ... just a few won't hurt. So I indulged. Just before bedtime the nurse instructed me to take a natural tea laxative called, get this ... "Smooth Move". Isn't that the funniest name for a laxative? We used to tease people who did something not too smart by saying, "Smooth Move Exlax!" Anyway, back to the herbal tea. It tasted pretty good and I gulped it down. I was starving!

Day 2: Woke up and thought, "Hmm ... so much for that Smooth Move stuff. Didn't really work!" Drove to work and about half way to Bountiful ... Smooth Move kicked in. Oh my goodness. I wasn't sure what I was going to do. So I prayed! Made it to work, driving quite speedily, and hoping I wouldn't get pulled over by a cop. Because at this point, I honestly wouldn't have been able to pull over. I would have had to wave my arm out the window and scream, "Follow me ... seriously ... just follow me ... I can't stop." But alas ... how do I put this delicately and to not offend ... I had to wash my undies out in the restroom and wear wet undies til they dried. So, for anyone having bowel problems, try the herbal tea with natural Senna. I promise, it will do the trick.

Day 2's drink consists of 1 litre of water, 4 tablespoons of pure Maple Syrup, and 6 tablespoons of pure lemon juice. Yum ... delicious ... well ... not really ... but tolerable. Drink that three times a day and wash down a cayenne pepper tablet, some pro-biotics, and a yeast cleanse tablet. Got through Day 2 fine with no other side affects. Had a few bites of Swiss Cheese when I got home because I was feeling a little dizzy.

Day 3 - Repeat the same as Day 2. Hey, I was doing great. But guess who fell off the band wagon? The nurse and the office manager. The office manager was throwing up the night before and the nurse decided she wanted to eat lunch. I stuck out the day with my drink and took the Maple Syrup home for pancakes! I ate a little bit of food this evening and am calling it good. End of the Master Cleanse.

Results: I weighed 142 pounds this morning ... losing 5 pounds in 2 days. Not too shabby! It will be interesting to see how quickly I put the weight back on after eating. Anyway, it was fun trying it out with the girls and I really didn't get too hungry during the day.

Another bit of good news! I finally posted the swap photos of An Evening to Remember on my official site. If you would like to view them go to The pictures are all grouped in thumbnails in the post just previous to my last post. Enjoy! I was going to password protect them, but I would like all to enjoy.

Have a great Thursday tomorrow. I'm loving life! -- Linda

Quick Post

Dieter and Molly watching the cat!

Carol, my sister who lives in Salem, Oregon.

Kate and Molly.

Natalie and Abbigail.

Kate and Molly.

Oh, I have so much to share and only a few minutes to post before I get myself to the Highland Care Center to see one of my favorite people.

All I can say is .... I can't believe this is happening to us ... again .... unemployment! This time it's my hubbie. The head honchos from the corporate office came into town and closed the Salt Lake branch down of his office. That meant EVERYONE there were laid off. Bummer! I was 59 years old going through my first layoff and Lynn is 59 going through another layoff. This isn't new to us in his business. He's a structural designer but he's always been able to find employment quickly after a down-sizing. It's been over 3 weeks and he still hasn't had any luck. So, if any of you know of a company that is hiring ... please advise. We'd even be willing to relocate if need be.

Unfortunately unemployment and my wages won't pay the mortgage. But I have faith that we will be fine. I have a calm assurance that the Lord has something in store for us and we will be blessed. I've used these last few weeks to really focus on what matters most ... visiting family members and taking care of the sick and needy in our Ward. It's been a great three weeks.

We took the opportunity of the layoff to go to Oregon for a few days to visit my daughter and her family. What a wonderful time. I'll quickly post some cute pictures of Molly, their dog and Dieter together. Dieter was in 7th heaven having a playmate.

I'm still working on my invention, so I can't wait to announce the unveiling.

Off to the Care Center. Have a fab day! --- Linda Lou

Pictures Part 1

Pictures Part 2